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Health officials report 1st probable monkeypox case in Pima County

Health officials in Pima County are reporting the first probable monkeypox case in the county. 

In a virtual press conference Tuesday morning, Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said the individual is under 40 years old and isolating. The county is doing contact tracing and working with state entities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"As far as what the community should do, once again, the main goal is just to let people know that we are following this, we do have a robust epidemiological response available, really a lot through what we learned through COVID," she said.

The health department is waiting for CDC confirmation on the positive test result turned over by the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory. Cullen said it’s extremely unlikely that someone would get the virus without direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

She said vaccine shipments to Coconino, Maricopa and Pima counties should arrive this week. Limited supplies will be given to people exposed to someone known to be infected, or determined to be at a high risk of becoming infected. 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.